Author: Jamie K. Schmidt

Sentinel’s Kiss by Jamie K. Schmidt

Sentinel’s Kiss by Jamie K. SchmidtSentinel's Kiss by Jamie K. Schmidt
Series: Sentinels of Babylon, #2
Published by Loveswept on March 7th 2017
Pages: 224
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two-stars

If Josh Lehman learned one thing as a Green Beret, it’s patience. Josh founded the Sentinels of Babylon because he was sick and tired of watching scumbags cheat the system—scumbags like the man who murdered his sister. Of course, if Josh’s sniper rifle was linked to the death of his ex-brother-in-law, that might be a problem. The bigger problem is the nosy reporter who’s this close to exposing the club. Josh has to find a way to keep her hot mouth from talking . . . but he’ll be damned if he lets someone take her from him. Not on his watch.
Ashley Carver thought she’d do anything for a scoop. That was before her latest story leads to multiple attempts on her life. Ashley’s been investigating a homicide that has gone unsolved for five years when she uncovers evidence tying the vigilantes of the Sentinels of Babylon to a revenge killing. Now she’s in their crosshairs. But after Josh defies all notions of club loyalty to come to Ashley’s aid, soon they’re burning up the sheets—and taking on the world.

“Sentinel’s Kiss” brings the shady business of vigilante justice into the spotlight, combining it with an MC storyline—which I think is meant to give a harder, dirtier edge to the bad boys many readers love to see falling on their knees.

But it’s unfortunately not one for me, even though I liked the idea that vigilante justice spills way out of the legal boundaries and how it can be used as an excuse to fulfil personal vendettas that’s been kind of implied here, or in this case, fuel a man’s need for revenge. But while this isn’t quite heart-pounding action of black ops, I’d expected to see more cloak-and-dagger meetings with the mysterious boss who doles out their orders yet didn’t.

Above all, I couldn’t quite connect with Sentinel and Ashley, who seemed to be using each other for sex and as bandages for their own issues that have clearly been laid out in the story. There’re no shortage of sex scenes as a result, which simply seems to prove my point—but sex, obviously, never been a problem for either of them—but it didn’t change what I felt was a shallow relationship that didn’t go beyond both characters’ inability to function without their bits bumping and humping. In fact, their supposed important conversations couldn’t take place without it and the good sex also seemed to be a reason for why they should go beyond casual fuckmates…it’s what both Sentinel and Ashley fall back on, which makes me think this will function better as erotica than romantic suspense. The rushed ending felt instead, like a hurried need to give an unlikely couple a HEA but as someone who couldn’t really buy into the pairing, I found myself rather indifferent to it all.

two-stars

Necessary Evil by Jamie K. Schmidt

Necessary Evil by Jamie K. SchmidtNecessary Evil by Jamie K. Schmidt
Series: Sentinels of Babylon #1
Published by Loveswept on August 23rd 2016
Pages: 224
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two-stars

In this steamy series opener from bestselling author Jamie K. Schmidt—whose writing has been called “hot and sexy, with just the right amount of emotional punch,” by Lauren Layne—a vigilante biker takes the power of love into his own hands.   Lucy Simmons comes from a rough family, but she’s a damn good public defender. Even though she hates to see criminals walk due to sloppy police work, the law’s there to make sure everyone gets a fair trial, and Lucy certainly doesn’t believe in the kind of justice meted out by the leather-clad ex-cop they call “Evil.” He’s stubborn, cynical, and out of control—but he plays her body like no man ever has. For once, both Lucy’s boss and her brother agree: The biker is trouble.   Evan Villiers took a sacred vow to let no killer, rapist, or pedophile go unpunished. When scumbags fall through the system, his motorcycle club cleans up the garbage. Although the Sons of Babylon and their methods may not be to Lucy’s liking, the beautiful lawyer has become Evan’s light in the dark. But his next hit is Lucy’s own brother—a murderer who got off on a technicality. Now, with his loyalties split, Evan must turn his back on his brothers . . . or lose the woman who has claimed his reckless heart.  Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

‘Necessary Evil’ delves into vigilante justice in the shadowy world apparently made up of a bar, a motorcycle club consisting of former government workers/agents/soldiers and rival gangs but it isn’t entirely clear by the end of the story where it’s all going.

Jamie K. Schmidt’s portrayal of the violence inherent in this world comes through and her rabble-rousing characters do exhibit that lack of civility that perhaps are a turn-on for some. But with the multiple subplots and loose threads that started and ended abruptly with a writing tone that sometimes goes off key, all I really could assimilate was Lucy’s and Evan’s burning lust for each other—sometimes to the point where alpha animal rutting is the whole point of their encounters—that Schmidt lays out with great detail.

There are parts that sound awkwardly out of place where desirous wants reduce intellect to rubble and I thought both lead characters did sort of act a little too shallowly out of their depth for what they are as they blew hot and cold at every instant. Evan keeps saying Lucy shouldn’t be with someone like him, but would want her as far as his own parameters for a ‘relationship’ goes, with a possessive streak that’s more appalling than protective. Lucy’s own juvenile thoughts makes me wonder if she’s merely a public defender in disguise when it came to playing games with Evan and with the rest of his friends who are less accepting of her. There are secrets neither are willing to open up to with each other, and love apparently, where both are concerned, can be defined by many orgasms and good sex. Apart from extensive sessions in bed, Lucy/Evan didn’t seem to have anything in common that cemented them as a pairing I could connect with, let alone with the rest of the secondary characters who at times were like caricatures than actual fictional people about to have their stories told.

Unfortunately, it isn’t my type of read, sad to say.

two-stars

Life’s a Beach by Jamie K. Schmidt

Life’s a Beach by Jamie K. SchmidtLife's a Beach by Jamie K. Schmidt
Series: Hawaii Heat #1
Published by Loveswept on January 5th 2016
Pages: 223
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three-stars

When Amelia Parker arrives in Maui, newly single and unemployed, she’s shocked to discover the resort she booked is actually a ramshackle little beachside hotel. At least the scenery is easy on the eyes—as is the toned, laid-back snorkel instructor, “Dude.” After two weeks of sun, serenity, and mind-blowing sex, she even accepts a job as the hotel’s concierge. But what Amelia really wants is to relaunch the place completely.

And that means convincing the absentee Wall Street billionaire owner, Samuel Kincaide, to take a chance on her.   Samuel has a plan, too: selling off every last reminder of his former life and chilling all day, every day as his slacker altar ego . . . Dude. He loves his romps in the ocean, and under the sheets, with the feisty Amelia. If she discovers his true identity, her boundless enthusiasm and innovative business plan will seriously diminish his hammock time. But when Amelia runs into real trouble on the island, he’ll put everything on the line to keep her safe. He just hopes that the woman who’s falling for Dude will feel the same about Samuel.

Amelia Parker loses her job, her apartment and her boyfriend in a day…and she finally takes herself down to Maui for a little time alone to lick her wounds, and finds a lot more than she bargains for. Jumping into a quick 2-week affair with ‘Dude’, the beach bum persona who is really a rich Wall Street guy in disguise, she soon finds herself working at the hotel he and his brother owns. The deception however, continues quite a way bit longer especially when it becomes clear to ‘Dude’ that the last thing Amelia wants is yet another rich guy who can’t be trusted.

But that’s really just the start of what I thought of as all very…odd, to be frank.

There’s the very exotic locale of Maui that makes up the appealing bit, but I felt that ‘Dude’ (as likeable and charming as he is) and Amelia (who was…ok, just not a standout) were somehow ‘off’ in the way they fit together, even with the surprising amount of smut between them. Amelia’s almost non-reaction to Dude’s deception was equally unexpected just as I was bewildered by Dude’s hesitation to place himself in any situation that would cause himself the least bit of stress. And there’s also a lot of wrangling and the inner workings of the tourism/hospitality business which came out of the left field, all ending up as a strange game of chess and petty financial manoeuvrings that somehow coalesced into an abrupt HEA.

three-stars